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Tough to justify this article as an economics story, but it should serve as inspiration for our students, if not for all of us. Jessica Watson, an Australian 16 year-old, has completed a circumnavigation of the globe, non-stop and all by herself.

Congratulations to her, but I am also impressed with the trust her parents showed in encouraging her to take the trip, a seven month journey. I am still proud of captaining a relatively short sail across the Atlantic ten years ago, and–even at 43 years old–I still had to battle parents and friends’ discouraging words.

One lesson to take from this story is what we can expect from young people if we give them the opportunity.

“People don’t think you’re capable of these things — they don’t realize what young people, what 16-year-olds and girls are capable of,” Watson told the raucous crowd. “It’s amazing when you take away those expectations what you can do.”

It was not that long ago that most 16 year-olds were treated as adults. Now we keep them home and protected, and we keep them in school often treated as children that must be convinced to study and strive for success. Jessica has clearly matured to a level where she is capable of making her own decisions.

Cheers to her parents, who clearly must have shown great trust in their daughter long before the sailing trip was imagined.

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One Comment

  1. 18 year old just about to finish all his exam …oh yeah!


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